Come as You Are

Come as You Are

Scott is convinced that Kaleen is the reason that their people are treated so well when they go out into the world. “She really builds the relationships out in the community to make that happen.”

Kaleen pushes back and says, “Or…maybe I’m treated so well because they are doing such an amazing job out there.”

This is a prime example of how these two interact--jockeying back and forth to give credit to anyone but themselves while being full of pride for the work being done by their agency.

Right Now

Right Now

I awoke early today and, in the pre-dawn dark, thought through ALL The Things.

You know The Things. You have your list of Things too.

These are ALL The Things I’m tending to and excited for, worried about and pressured by. These are all The Things I’m catching up on after the admitted privilege of being away on vacation: Emails, phone calls, inquiries, and scheduling. These are all the team changes, new opportunities, and old commitments.

Make Meetings More Human: The Check-In

Make Meetings More Human: The Check-In

“You’ve seen this happen, probably multiple times each day.

A group of people come into a room and sit down around a table just before a meeting. Barely looking at each other, they might mumble a greeting but give their devices their full attention. When the appointed time arrives, they launch in to the agenda items and get to work….”

People Are Kind

People Are Kind

Almost six months ago, I broke my ankle.  It was a serious injury, and I was told that I should not expect to return to normal for at least six months.  As I approach this healing milestone, I have been reflecting on my broken ankle experience.  I was surprised by the kindness I received from people I don’t know all that well, or even at all. I am heartened—really heartened—that so many people went out of their way to help me in my time of need. 

Sheroes: Walker, Chisolm, Colvin, Jones

Sheroes: Walker, Chisolm, Colvin, Jones

As we end Black History month and prepare to celebrate Women’s History Month, with International Women’s Day on March 8, this is a particularly great time to learn about some Black women legends who are sheroes like Madam CJ Walker, Shirley Chisolm, Claudette Colvin and “Baby” Esther Jones.

It Starts as Children

It Starts as Children

I love poetry, and at A Human Workplace, we often include poetry in our gatherings. So I was particularly delighted when NPR announced their “Love is…” poetry contest for school children on Morning Edition. Hearing the response of children to the invitation to write about love was so familiar to me because I hear the same response from grown adults everywhere when I talk with them about decreasing fear and increasing love in the workplace.

I Am a Public Servant

I Am a Public Servant

It’s good sometimes to pause from our work. Take a breath. Really consider our work.

Truthfully.

Sometimes the truth is that we are thrilled. We are delighted by our work and grateful for the privilege of contributing. We can’t wait to get to work each day. We love the challenges we face, the service we offer, the skills we learn, the way we express ourselves to the world in our work.

Do I have to say "love"?

Do I have to say "love"?

Using the word “love” about work is surprising and even shocking to most people.

When I use the “L” word when I speak or teach, it is what my colleague Darrell calls a mic drop moment.

“Love.” Boom! Then silence. Dead silence. Perhaps followed by nervous laughter.

But that’s also where the really important exploration begins.

Can we talk?

Can we talk?

Arguably one of the most difficult issues we face as a nation is race. We struggle to talk about these challenges, and we struggle even more to work through them effectively. So I was surprised to learn abut a team at the Department of Enterprise Services who had a risky and potentially difficult discussion about race and implicit bias that was effective, respectful and team strengthening. I wanted to learn more…

The Power of Intrinsic Motivation

I had the chance to hear Michaela Beals and Josh Calvert present the content of this post at a Results Review to Washington State Governor Jay Inslee along with state agency leaders. I was impressed by the way they connected the State's Employee Engagement Survey results with practical insights into human motivation and an effective human-centered workplace. Thanks to Michaela and Josh for sharing their work here with the community of A Human Workplace. -Renée

Most workplaces are not awesome. A little awe can help.

Most workplaces are not awesome. A little awe can help.

Think of a time when you felt a sense of wonder. Perhaps you marveled at the grandeur of a towering mountain. Or maybe you suddenly sensed the vastness of the universe as the Aurora Borealis spiraled across a winter sky. Were you caught off-guard? Did you lose your sense of time but gain a sense of mystery? Did you feel small and deeply connected to something greater than yourself? Then you probably experienced awe. 

Why do we make the workplace so hard on ourselves?

Why do we make the workplace so hard on ourselves?

People are struggling in most workplaces with disengagement, poor well-being, lack of diversity and inclusion, burnout, conflict, bullying and harassment, unethical behavior, poor performance, challenges to creativity, and lack of problem solving.

So what the heck are we doing to ourselves? And wouldn’t it make sense to do something else?

Learning to Weave in Olympia

Learning to Weave in Olympia

My last post described our need to weave together a stronger social fabric that both honors our common humanity and respects and values diversity. At A Human Workplace: Olympia on June 22, we took a first step by exploring and learning about empathy and diversity. Here’s what we did and what happened. But first, what seems most essential.

Weaving our Human Tapestry

Weaving our Human Tapestry

The fabric of our society feels threadbare. A tattered cloth with gaping holes, it barely drapes us nor does it display its full beauty. We wish it were different but we seem to have lost our ability to weave that tapestry. But in truth, we’ve never really mastered that craft in the first place nor has our tapestry ever truly been complete. But where to begin? We need to learn to weave.